by Robin Garrison Leach
The front page of the magazine showed a swimsuit model who wasn’t a waif-ish, doe-eyed preteen girl/woman. She wasn’t standing in pretzel contortion along a sunny beach, displaying this year’s newest duct-tape-sized bikini.
This woman was older. At least of childbearing age. Her hair wasn’t blowing in artificial winds of tropically calibrated winds. It was plastered to her head in that familiar “back comb” style we all sport after repeated dunkings.
Best of all, she was IN THE WATER. Any woman over 21 knows that the blur of water hides every flaw. That’s why we make a mad dash for the pool seconds after removing our giant cover-ups.
We’re not hot. We don’t even want to swim. We want to hide.
The smiling model had magic words bobbing against her soggy left ear:
“SWIMSUITS FOR REAL WOMEN”
What? They make those? I’ve never seen a bathing suit that an actual grownup female can wear.
Sure. They make lots of suits in lots of sizes and styles. An array of embarrassing spandex droops from skinny hangers and hungry models each spring, reminding us that summer will soon be requiring the obligatory display of skin gratefully hidden from our eyes all winter.
But every woman old enough to remember Woodstock knows the truth. None of those fit. The bodies that can fill those suits have never known the agony of gravity. The defeat of cellulite.
REAL women all wear the same suit. Black. Maybe a splashy, flowered number—if it’s tasteful. Our one-piece swimsuit is cut low on the leg to avoid unsightly crease lines.
It covers as much back as we can pack inside, to give the illusion of smooth continuity along our padded spines.
REAL women wear suits with straps at least 4 inches wide, to support our once-perky-now-pendulous flotation devices. We carry them to the shallow end of the water with guaranteed sunburn protection to the huge area they shade.
Flippy skirts cover the bottoms of REAL women, hiding everything below the belt. At least until we get out of the pool. Then our little lily-pad skirts flatten down in clinging betrayal.
For the complete article, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.